1. By his common order dated 31st December, 1984 (Exhibit D), the Collector of Customs (Appeals), Bombay, partially allowed the four appeals before him covered by the said order to the extent that the imported products in all these four cases though were not assessable to countervailing duty under Item 18-IV of the C.E.T. were clearly assessable to countervailing duty under Item 68 of the C.E.T. The said four appeals were consequently allowed to the extent of classification of the imported products to countervailing duty under Item 68 of the C.E.T. Under the said order the petitioners became entitled to refund of the difference. Even so however, the petitioners were unable to obtain the refunds lawfully due to them. Hence these petitions.
2. Hearing rival submissions of Mr. Seervai for the petitioners, and Mr. Desai for the respondents, I see no good reason why the petitioner should not be permitted to have the benefit of the appellate order dated 31st December, 1984 and consequently to the refund of the difference due to them thereunder. Learned Counsel Mr. Desai submitted that against the appellate order, the respondents have filed appeal/appeals to the Tribunal (C.E.G.A.T.). Now, even assuming that to be so, mere filing of an appeal cannot prevent or debar the petitioners from obtaining the refunds presently due to them under the appellate order of 31st December, 1984. Besides, Mr. Seervai for the petitioners states that the petitioners are ready and willing to give an undertaking to this Court to the effect that in the event of the respondents' appeal/appeals to the Tribunal being allowed, the petitioners will, within sixty days of the receipt of the Tribunal's order, repay the amounts in the meanwhile refunded to them under the appellate order dated 31st December, 1984. This undertaking protects the interests of the respondents, in the event of their appeal/appeals being allowed by the Tribunal.
3. Hence Order - These petitions are allowed. The respondents are directed to refund to the petitioners the refund amounts respectively due to them under the appellate order Exhibit D, dated 31st December, 1984. This refund should be effected latest by 29th June, 1985. In default thereof, the respondents will then be liable to refund to the petitioners the refund amounts respectively due to them together with interest thereon at 18% p.a. from 1st July, 1985 till date of payment. The petitioners in each of these petitions give through their learned Counsel an undertaking to this Court to the effect that in the event of the Tribunal allowing the respondents' appeal/appeals, the petitioners will then, within a period of 60 days of the date of receipt of the Tribunal's order, repay to the respondents the amounts which the petitioners would have in the meanwhile recovered from the respondents herein in pursuance of the appellate order dated 31st December, 1984 (Exhibit D). These undertakings are accepted by this Court.
4. Rule issued on each of these petitions is made absolute in terms aforesaid but, in the circumstances, with no order as to costs.